26-year-old Papiss Cisse has given a long interview in the Sunday Mirror today, and Newcastle new number 9 thinks he has made a good start to his Newcastle career.
Papiss Cisse – after scoring great goal, the match-winner, against Norwich
That number 9 seems special because it turns out that Papiss is just 9 days younger than Demba Ba, having been born on June 3rd, 1985 with Demba being born on 25th May in the same year.
And of course Demba Ba has made a very good start to his career on Tyneside with 16 goals in the Premier League so far this season.
Newcastle showed in January they are still willing to shell out some big money for the right player, and they paid SC Freiburg aorund £9M for Cisse, after almost signing him last June.
Terms had been agreed with Freiburg last summer, but the German club pulled out, otherwise he would have joined Newcastle last June, as Demba Ba did.
This is what Cisse had to say to the Mirror today:
“I’ve made a good start to my career at Newcastle on the pitch, scoring in three of my first four home games.” “But it has been difficult off the field as I don’t speak English yet.”
“It is hard for me to understand sometimes what people are saying but, thankfully, the manager has been patient.” “I speak four languages and, with people at the club helping me all the time, I feel I will soon be able to converse in English.”
“Demba Ba, who speaks good English, has been helping me with the language and there are also a lot of French-speaking players at the club who have been assisting me.”
“Demba and I know each other from the Senegal national team, but we are still getting used to each other in the Newcastle side. We know we have got to do a bit more to find the right blend.”
“But the partnership will improve and I think the best is still to come.” “It is a dream of mine to play in Europe. I came to England to play at the highest level and to test myself in European competition.”
“Hopefully, next season we will have that European spot. It is important that the club gets back into Europe as soon as possible.” “Myself, Demba Ba and all the players will be doing our best to ensure that we achieve that target.
“We know what is required.”
When Cisse was signed, some thought he had already played a number of times with Demba Ba in the Senegal side, but Alan Pardew explained that was not the case.
In the Senegal side it was either Cisse or Demba Ba up front – or Moussa Sow, who was at Lille and joined Turkish club Fenerbahce last summer.
Cisse has appeared just five times for Newcatsle, but he already has three goals under his belt, and certainly has an eye for goal, and is always looking to score from unlikely positions, and could become another great number 9 for Newcastle.
Cisse thought the Bundesliga was a good standard of football, but admits that the English Premier League is probably better, as he continued:
“The Premier League is regarded as one of the best in the world and I have found it to be a very high standard.” “But I have to give respect to the Bundesliga as that is where I got my big break in English football and I enjoyed my time there.”
“But maybe the Premier League just edges it.” “I have heard all about Alan Shearer from everyone in Newcastle.” “I haven’t met Alan Shearer yet, but I know he’s a big man!”
A Demba Ba – Papiss Cisse partnership up front looks to be something that Newcastle fans can look forward, as the two Senegal lads play more often together.
We don’t know if Alan Pardew will play in a 4-4-2 formation today at West Brom, because he may want to only use one striker up front, at least at the start of the game in a 4-5-1 formation.
But we’ll see both strikers in action at some stage this afternoon, and it would be good if both can get a goal today, as they did in their first game together against Aston Villa on 5th February, after they had returned from the African Cup of Nations.
A win today and Newcastle will have gained points on most of the teams above them and Liverpool too, who lost to a bottom three side for the second game running yesterday.